IPC Attains U.S. Dept. of Labor Approval of its National Apprenticeships Standards, First-Ever in U.S. Electronics Manufacturing Industry

Industry group reports five-year growth in electronics workforce programs as it celebrates National Apprenticeship Week

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) approved IPC’s National Program Standards of Apprenticeship – the first-ever in the U.S. electronics manufacturing industry – in a move designed to expand the skilled workforce for this strategically vital industry.

The recognition was bestowed during a ceremony yesterday as part of National Apprenticeship Week, November 13-19. The DOL’s action ensures that IPC’s Registered Apprentice programs are recognized nationally and align with the industry’s highest standards of proficiency in electronics manufacturing. IPC is now authorized to register with each state’s Eligible Training Provider List.

National Program Standards of Apprenticeship are occupational training standards developed and sponsored by an employer, an industry organization, labor organization, educational institution, or consortium. IPC’s apprenticeship standards cover two critically important occupations – electronics assemblers and printed circuit board fabricators – and provide valuable, hands-on experience with a defined pathway to secure, well-paying careers in electronics manufacturing.

“More than two-thirds of IPC’s U.S. members report that an inability to find and retain skilled workers is limiting their growth and global competitiveness,” said John W. Mitchell, IPC president and CEO and author of Fire Your Hiring Habits. “The Department of Labor’s endorsement of IPC’s apprenticeship standards will help foster a larger, more skilled, and more diverse workforce. We are excited about the positive impacts on workers, their communities, and the electronics manufacturing industry.”

IPC Celebrates National Apprenticeship Week

To mark National Apprenticeship Week, Mitchell issued a proclamation calling on IPC members to become Workforce Champions and expand workforce education programs. Six companies – ASMPT (Georgia, Massachusetts), Calumet Electronics (Michigan), Flex (Texas), Microboard (Connecticut), Out of the Box Manufacturing (Washington) and TTM Technologies (California) – have already endorsed the apprenticeship initiative to the DOL, signaling their interest in launching programs within their companies.

Mitchell will host a discussion this afternoon for North American industry executives with U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional STEAM Caucus; co-chair of the Congressional Apprenticeship Caucus; and co-chair of the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus.

IPC is also sharing the results of its Workforce Champions initiative, launched in 2018 with a goal of expanding IPC’s education programs. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the following achievements were met over the last five years:

  • Jobs: Overall, the U.S. electronics industry added more than 75,000 jobs, exceeding the association’s 2018 projection by 50 percent.
  • Credentials: More than 300,000 individuals have earned career-enhancing credentials by participating in IPC education programs and earning IPC certifications.
  • Secondary and Post-Secondary Education: The IPC Education Foundation facilitated the completion of introductory courses by 4,000 college students; the exposure of 6,000 high school and college students to industry skills; and the distribution of $250,000 in scholarships and awards.

IPC also launched a pilot program to equip more than 200 high school students with essential skills for jobs in the electronics assembly sector. Aligned with DOL standards, this opportunity provides rigorous training through career and technical education (CTE) programs and encourages students to enter apprenticeship programs after high school. Looking ahead, IPC is scaling these programs to additional high schools, community colleges and universities across the country.

More information about IPC’s apprentice programs and other educational programs can be found at:

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